The truck carrying a grandmother, a grandfather, and their two grandchildren wasn’t speeding as it rounded the turn, but the rain was falling, and the road had been newly paved.
As KSTU reports, on the evening of June 6, the family was driving in bad conditions in Logan County, Utah. Though police would later determine that they were going below the speed limit, the rain made things especially dangerous.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Kent Goodrich told KSTU that the road had recently been repaved, and the rain had caused oil to rise and cover the road surface:
“In places, it was even difficult to stand because of how slick it was.”
As the truck rounded a corner, its tires slid in the oil. The vehicle spun, flew off the road, and landed in the fast-moving Logan River. The momentum of the accident caused the pickup to flip over, leaving the grandparents and grandchildren hanging on, upside-down as water filled the cabin.
Yesterday, at about 6:25 pm, on US 89 MM 473, this vehicle failed to negotiate a curve near Logan Cave and rolled into the Logan River. Passers-by helped the 4 occupants out of the river. Life-saving CPR was performed one man. All occupants were transported to the Hospital. pic.twitter.com/lmvvQkK3tQ
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) June 7, 2019
Fortunately, six strangers had seen the truck crash into the river. The men stopped and immediately jumped into the water to rescue the family.
Time was critical. Goodrich said that by the time someone reached the grandfather, he “was underwater, he was blue, unresponsive.”
One of the rescuers didn’t have a knife and called for help. He quickly found himself being offered knives from the other five men who had jumped in with him.
Goodrich told KSTU that the men got to the little girl just in time:
“When he found the granddaughter, her head was just barely above the water. It was all she could do to keep breathing, and he was there in the nick of time.”
The trooper added that by the time he arrived at the accident, the grandparents were already on their way to the hospital. He told KSTU that the quick action of the six good Samaritans unquestionably saved the family from drowning:
“I truly believe that these people saved this family’s lives because of their quick thinking, their quick acting. Because they decided to get involved, it made the difference.”